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Chatton Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

In between Chatton hill rock art panels, and the amazing Kettley crag is this smart little hill fort, well, I think it's smart, so I'm quite staggered that no ones added any pictures or the site.
The entrance faces south east and on the left side of the entry looking in there is some large chunks of masonry. Two substantial concentric banks with at least one hut circle surviving within. Also within the fort is another rock art panel, apparently dubbed Chatton 4, a very large ring has been carved, next to it a line of quarrying holes, but after seeing picture 80 by Pebbles I can see that there was more there than the big ring, so not only am I crap at finding the art panels I'm also crap at looking at them.
I think I'll stick mainly to big stones, circles and cairns, so i'll start with a toddle down the hill to Kettley crag rock art panel.

Chatton (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Like everyone else I mainly came to see Kettley crags amazing rock art but got so much more for my money.
The parking place now has no long shed at all, black or otherwise, I also never saw any information board, but I wasn't looking for one.
A stile leads one into the first field, there was a poor little lamb stuck under it, Eric tip toed over it then wriggled free and ran off, I joined Eric and we tramped up the hill towards a gate and another stile.
Soon enough we started coming across many rocks and stones, we looked hard, at every sheet of rock and every boulder we came across, but inbetween the car and the trig point we only found the one panel, a very poor performance, if I were a football team I would've lost 8-1, if I were an American president I'd have got impeached. In my defence, there's very little rock art any where near where I live, so i'm more used to looking for big stones, circle and cairns, some of the carvings are quite worn, the light was very bright and not conducive to viewing faint carvings, I cant believe that one myself, either way the big white rock sheet was the only one I found, out of maybe a dozen, very poor. I did find a hillfort no else seems to care about though.

Battle Stone (Yeavering) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Battle Stone (Yeavering)</b>Posted by postman<b>Battle Stone (Yeavering)</b>Posted by postman

Bamburgh castle (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Bamburgh castle</b>Posted by postman<b>Bamburgh castle</b>Posted by postman<b>Bamburgh castle</b>Posted by postman

Dunstanburgh Castle (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Dunstanburgh Castle</b>Posted by postman<b>Dunstanburgh Castle</b>Posted by postman<b>Dunstanburgh Castle</b>Posted by postman

Whinny Hill (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

The rock art fraternity have well represented the prehistoric artwork across the road at Chatton hill and Ketley crag, but not one of them have posted anything about this stone circle, ok, it's not on the map but surely I cant be the first to get here?
Tearing through Chatton wee village on the B6348, look out for the parking place to go up Chatton hill, pass it by at speed and continue until you see a right turn at a long gated farm type track, parking room for one.
Strangely, Eric stayed in the car and my daughter Phil came with me, Two locked gates have to be knocked down, I mean climbed over, the track is long and straight and heads for some conifer trees. At the trees turn left through or over yet another locked gate, remember to fume and swear, this is a public footpath.
It was here at this locked gate that I realised I'd left my map in the car, or dropped it on the way down the track, I thought for a second and remembered all the map and google earth perusing I'd done prior to my arrival, even though it was over a mile from the road I was fairly confident of finding it without the map.
So, straight down the track to the confer trees, turn left and follow the path, green fields to the right, open moorland with stone curlew for added drama to the left. As you slowly go up hill, try to aim for the sharp angle of the north tip of Ros hill wood. Eventually we arrive at a wall, over the wall is a small but pretty lake, also not on the map.
Standing by the wall, I knew we close, look left and up hill, can I see a couple of stones peeping over the low but all covering heather, yes indeed I can, move in closer. Philli has come dressed for somewhere other than where we are and declines the opportunity to gaze upon the stones up close, like, so she sits by the wall and watches her dad wander off in the direction of those very interesting stones again.

Because of a single report of two stone holes found here, other reporters have presumed this is something other than a typical four stoner stone circle, but to my fully opened eyes this is absolutely what it looks like, a four poster.
The two big stones are really quite extraordinary stones, the star stone is perhaps a sandstone, red in colour and triangular in section, the sharp end of the triangle points uselessly at open moorland, or perhaps not. The other big stone is grey in hue, bulbous and cracked with dimples. The two smaller stones are, well, smaller, and less noteworthy, they could be larger than they look. One of the more ground hugging stones is about a yard away from a large hole, a hole that is situated perfectly to take up the final corner of the square, er, circle. It cant be anything other than a stone that has somehow come out of place.
The view is very commendable, Chatton hill and it's wealth of rock art and hill fort, the North Sea away over the hill, just visible, and the distant Cheviot hills, and nearer to is the pretty lake, framed with heather surmounted by forest. Whooooop!

I like four posters, and Northumberland.
Off to the seaside we go.

Kettley Crag (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Kettley Crag</b>Posted by postman<b>Kettley Crag</b>Posted by postman<b>Kettley Crag</b>Posted by postman<b>Kettley Crag</b>Posted by postman<b>Kettley Crag</b>Posted by postman

Chatton Camp (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton Camp</b>Posted by postman

Chatton (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Chatton</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton</b>Posted by postman<b>Chatton</b>Posted by postman

Whinny Hill (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Whinny Hill</b>Posted by postman

The Bridestones (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>The Bridestones</b>Posted by postman<b>The Bridestones</b>Posted by postman<b>The Bridestones</b>Posted by postman<b>The Bridestones</b>Posted by postman

Pen Maen Wern (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Probably best to combine a visit with Waun Lydan standing stone one mile east, I approached from that direction, but I cant say whether it's the best way up.

So, the walk starts easily enough at Waun Lydan standing stone, Idwal says the way is pathless tussocky grass but surprisingly dry underfoot, I would go along with all that but I'd also add that the place looked to be totally devoid of life, no birds, no insects, nothing, just one mad postman stumbling round muttering to himself. The mutterings were mostly, god! where is it? how much further? and am I nearly there yet?
I couldn't see the stone from my start point so with limited help from map and compass I just aimed at something in the way and make it up from there, it was further than I anticipated, I nearly turned back, the only thing that kept me going was, you'll have to come back another time, and I really wanted to avoid that, this hill, not the whole place.
Nearing the top of the hill, for that is where the stone is, I could now see that the black shapes i'd seen from afar was extensive rock outcropping, which was nice. Among the rocks I could see the stone, massive sigh of relief intermixed with gasping for air and then I thought, what if it's a trig point? I am on top of a hill, I decided that if it was, and I couldn't see the stone from there, then screw it I'm going home.
Fortunately it was the standing stone, and it was a beauty.
Like it's not very near neighbour, it is wearing a ground protecting wire mesh skirt, which seems to be working well, and the views again are extensive, to be expected on top of a hill. One mile north is Claerwen dam where land rovers climb, but thats a different show.
There is far more quartz in this stone than it's neighbour, it is almost all perfectly white, like a covering of soft, refreshing snow. It is very lovely.
When I got there, there was two things that had been placed next to and on the stone, on top of it was a rams skull, complete with long curly horns, it was quite heavy so I didn't take it home, but I couldn't leave it on top of the standing stone so I put it on another smaller stone close by, it could still see the standing stone and perform any stone protecting from there. At the foot of the stone was a framed photo of a bunch of paratroopers next to their plane, perplexing, did they all die in a crash here in the last two years? did one of them die in action and this was a place he loved? who knows, it was better than some of the tat you see left at some Wiltshire sites.
On a nicer day with less wind and time to spare, this would be a good place to sit and relax some, but I have to go, right now, so channeling the spirit of tough as nails soldiers everywhere I set off across this grassy desert at a quick march, which then turned into a yomp, and then ended as it always does as a stumbling stagger.

Waun Lydan (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Driving south on the west side of Caban Coch reservoir, look for the end of the lake, there is a left turn by a telephone box and a small car park, if your a good boy, park there and walk all the way, it is a long way.
But if like me, your a naughty boy, take the left turn by the phone box, cross the bridge, turn right and proceed through the Rhiwnant farm yard, real quiet like.
A number of gates have to be got through and it's about here where you'll decide that the track has become way too rough and you should have left the car way back there. Unperturbed I left my watch daughter looking after the car, at the end of a long stand of conifers, and started the long walk up hill.

Proceeding up the track the nearest hill right in front of you is the one you want, the track will look like it's taking you away from where you want to go, passing the car mostly buried by house bricks, wait for the track to split in two, ignore both tracks now and just keep going up, up and a bit more up til you can see the stone.
Avery nice stone is this Waun Lydan, it's about 6ft tall, vaguely triangular in shape from two sides. At the bottom of the stone it is wearing a wire mesh skirt, is this stone a girl then? or, more likely, is it protecting the stones nether region from snuggling sheep, probably the latter.
Most noteworthy are the quartz seems, orange and white ribboning all over the stone, actual crystals are pooling in places, very nice.
The views from the stone are quite extensive, to be expected from the top of a hill, north, and east are the reservoirs, south are bigger hills like Drygarn Fawr, west is the distant rock strewn hill top of Pen Maen - Wern, site of another stone, even more quartzy than this one. To Pen Maen-Wern we go then.

Pen Maen Wern (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman<b>Pen Maen Wern</b>Posted by postman

Waun Lydan (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Waun Lydan</b>Posted by postman<b>Waun Lydan</b>Posted by postman
Showing 1-50 of 9,160 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: